☆ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NIKA-CHAN! ☆
I bring G-rated drabbles. ♥
::: THE BEER SONG ::: 400w
There are only so many things to do on multiple, lengthy overnight bus trips from place to place on tour. The senpai get to go by shinkansen, but not Kismai and ABC: they're only Juniors, and Johnny is a stingy old bastard.
Miyata and Tamamori seem to be fine with shared headphones and soft conversation, and Yokoo gets two seats to himself because that's just the way it works. But for the rest? The bus is tough.
It's alright for the first hour. Maybe even the first two, if the gods are smiling upon the logistical endeavours of mere mortals. Nikaido amuses himself stealing Senga's snacks, and there are wordgames and cardgames and jankenpon. But slowly the boys' collective subconscious realises that two hours down still means eight and a half to go, and their debonair party takes on a slightly desperate edge. Suddenly it's not Blackjack they're playing, but Fifty-two Pickup.
Eventually, too innocently, Senga starts humming 'The wheels on the bus go round and round~' to himself out the window, and teeth start to grit. But it's not until Tottsu joins in with the actual words and Senga, realising he has company, starts singing along as well, that Kitayama breaks out the alcohol.
Nikaido leans across the aisle, and--
"No," Yokoo preempts, with barely a warning glance backward.
--slumps over his armrest, thwarted before even asking. "It's not like there's paparazzi here, Watta!"
"You're still underaged, cameras or not," Yokoo says primly, adjusting his earplugs. His attention returns to the book in his hands. "And besides, there are paparazzi everywhere." And that's the end of that.
Knowing Yokoo used to be pretty close to Kusano, Nikaido has respect enough to not argue the point further, curling up with a sullen pout instead. But all too soon Kitayama's round is gone, and the older ones hijack Tottsu's stash. Then Tsukada's. Then Goseki's. And then Fujigaya-and-Kawai's and by this time the entire back of the bus is half gone and hollering Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall -- except they're already down to seventy-one and falling. Fast.
"Nice to see you boys in high spirits tonight," the staff comment with smiles, when they pass to use the toilet.
Easy for them to say, coming from up the front where it's sane.
Nikaido might be eighteen now, but his twentieth birthday is still too far off. God help him not kill himself -- or any of his bandmates -- before then.
x x x
::: ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE ::: 250w
Ironically, when Yonemura first notices Nikaido (that is, really notices him -- they'd joined Johnny's in the same year, way back, but then so had Koyama and a heap of random others) it's backstage of YOU-tachi!. Something in the wings spooks the boy, and he trips over his own skates.
It makes no logical sense, Yonemura's sure, but soon it seems like he can't stop watching the kid with the bad skin (and even worse makeup, sometimes), who struts around in Kismai's ridiculous amounts of shimmer and swoosh as if their costumes are actually cool.
But people-watching is a funny past-time after all (Yonemura's been told they have that in common), and being in the Shounen Club default band lends itself extraordinarily well to mindless observation. Yonemura finds himself consistently amused by Nikaido's presence.
Maybe it's the way the kid laughs at every little thing, grin wide open and crooked teeth showing. Or how he can't handle a camera half as well as Fujigaya or Kitayama (or even Senga), but tries really hard to be different and look cool anyway.
It's also fun to note how his costumes change a little bit every time he wears them... as much as any part of a Shounen club recording can be fun.
Mostly though, Yonemura just likes the way it's painfully clear Nikaido's always trying a little too hard -- and is so self-conscious about it.
Because like that, Yonemura can't help but think, the boy could fit right in with Question? if they ever needed a trumpet.
x x x
::: ORE-SAMA NO BIGI NI YOI NA ::: 400w
"I," Nikaido announces, striding in the door on a Monday afternoon. "Am awesome."
"Who've you done now?" Kitayama asks, not looking up from where he's sprawled the couch. Not even opening his eyes.
"What," Yokoo corrects absently. "You mean what." The young ones are still underaged.
Nikaido graces the three with a cool once-over, not rising to the bait today. He's awesome today. And awesome means awesome, and better than that. "Senga!" he barks. For the hell of it.
Suddenly Kitayama's awake. "What?"
Nikaido smiles over his shoulder, all mock-sweetness. "You mean who?" Opens his locker. "Go back to pervyland, Kitamitsu. We aren't all walking disease farms like you."
Tamamori blinks into his bento, and Miyata stifles a chuckle.
"Shut up, Miyacchi."
"What did I do?"
"What do you ever do?" Fujigaya grins, always up for some nose teasing. But the matter at hand warrants returning to: "Can he still dance though? I mean, Senga. That's the question."
Nikaido rolls his eyes. "I didn't break him."
"Oh, good. So you were gentle."
"So not gentle!" Senga pouts, feet dragging as he finally makes it through the door to various automatic greetings. A petulant entrance. He drops his bag, and rolls up one sleeve. "Look! Claw marks!"
As half the group gathers to inspect the battle scars, Nikaido closes his locker with an air of smugness.
"Tell them what we did," he preens.
There is audible reluctance: "...went to Fuji-Q Highland."
"What, the themepark?" Fujigaya asks, returning Senga's hand. The only one by that name is a couple of hours away at the base of Mount Fuji.
"And~?" Nikaido prompts.
Senga looks thoroughly miserable. "...went on the Eejanaika."
"That's right," Nikaido says, very proud of it. "Only the bigger of the only two fourth-dimension rollercoasters in the world. With~?"
"...360-degree seat rotation."
"Yes." Nikaido grins, satisfied. That 'coaster? Fucking craziest thing ever. "Hell, yes."
There's a soft whump as Kitayama flops back onto the couch. "How anti-climatic."
Nikaido ignores their leader in favour of basking in Fujigaya's awe.
Senga nods duly-- "Yeah."
--while Nikaido practically glows. "Yeah." And grins. "Thanks, Senga."
"...yeah," Senga says, and trudges into the bathroom.
As the door clicks shut, Fujigaya acquires the air of a demon. A demon with a happy unibang. "...next day off, I'm totally bringing Kawai."
"You wouldn't get him anywhere near that thing," Yokoo snerks, "Much less on it. He'd freak out."
"Prime sadistic activity," Nikaido agrees. "I recommend the leash."
And suddenly Kitayama's up again: "You what?"
Tamamori likes to think his side-dish contains the answer to the universe.
( "...ah," he says later. Much later. "It's pickles, isn't it?" )
x x x
::: TAIYOU NO NAMIDA ::: 300w
Boys don't cry, is what his sister's always said.
Nikaido's not so masculine though. Sure, he looks tough. Acts tough sometimes, but he cries too. Gets terrified more than a lot of chibi juniors -- he hates ghosts; hates being alone -- and he's twice their age.
But boys don't cry, is what he'd told Senga that first time they'd met.
He'd been the first one to talk to him in Tokyo, way back when, and neither of them's forgotten it.
That's the thing about Senga, Nikaido thinks, that's always set him apart from your average natural idiot: he remembers what's really important. Screw the next dress rehearsal, this venue or that schedule, but Senga Kento means every apology he makes and really never does it again if it matters enough.
Nikaido can't stand a lot of dumbasses, but he's always found it hard to hate Senga.
He wonders if he hates him now that Senga's off flying like he was born to (dance lessons since he was three, talk about unfair) -- but knows it's probably just the tears talking.
Especially when Senga still says stupid, stupid things like Nika-chan's my best friend, that have to be cut from his interviews because it's the wrong group's member-ai. Senga's debuted now, with a number one single and concerts around the corner. The stage lights blaze around him so bright that Nikaido, though behind him all the way (backdancing or not), has to fight not to close his eyes.
Because it's hard to look at the sun. Even man-made, stars can be so bright that sometimes it hurts.
Maybe, then, if there's anything Nikaido hates, it might be how he can't stand it.
The tears -- when it's not even dark at all, and he's not alone, not really -- make him wonder how much more pathetic a boy can feel.
x x x
::: THIS EVERYDAY LOVE ::: 265w
Yokoo's face, Nikaido decides, can look pretty damn appalled when he's feeling it right down to his yaiba. Like now.
Nikaido resists the urge to snicker (because Yokoo's expression is just funny), but the other can read it on his face anyway, resulting in a cuff over the head. "Ow-! What was that for?"
"You know exactly what," Yokoo says and turns away, hitching his bag higher on his shoulder. "I'm not taking you to Mac."
"You always take me to Mac!"
"I'm not taking you to Mac this time next week," Yokoo glares. "Think of something better, or I'll ask Ken-chan and Mitsu to plan it instead."
That's as good a threat as any. Nikaido's eyes almost glaze over at the thought of merry-go-rounds and STDs, but he shakes it off. "Fine. Fine. I'll think. Geez, you're so difficult."
Nikaido snickers again -- Yokoo's incredulous face is pretty amusing, too -- and it earns him yet another cuff over the head, but he can't much help it. A snicker's been his default grin since losing his milk teeth at six years old, and hell. Yokoo just... makes him smile. "You're difficult, old man," he says again, and leans across to kiss the other's cheek with clear affection.
"Says the guy with the upcoming birthday?" Yokoo asks.
Nikaido shoots him a superior smile -- not for his age, but for Yokoo's futile resistence: no matter how old Nikaido gets, Yokoo will always remember one Olympics further back... though that's mattering less and less these days.
Without another word, he turns Yokoo's face to brush their lips before they part past the jimusho doors.
x x x
UNTIL NEXT YEAR~ (/°∇°)/